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Comparative Analysis of Direct Operating Costs: Conventional vs. Hydrogen Fuel Cell 19-Seat Aircraft


In this paper, a comparative analysis of direct operating costs between a 19-seat conventional and hydrogen-powered fuel cell aircraft is performed by developing a model to estimate direct operating costs and considering the evolution of costs over time from 2030 to 2050. However, due to the technology being in its early stages of development and implementation, there are still considerable uncertainties surrounding the direct operating costs of hydrogen aircraft. To address this, the study considers high and low kerosene growth rates and optimistic and pessimistic development scenarios for hydrogen fuel cell aircraft, while also considering the evolution of costs over time. The comparative analysis uses real flight and aircraft data for the airliner Trade Air. The results show that the use of 19-seat hydrogen fuel cell aircraft for air transportation is a viable option when compared to conventional aircraft. Additionally, the study suggests potential policies and other measures that could accelerate the adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology by considering their direct operating costs.

Funding source: This research took place within the MAHEPA project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 723368. The article only reflects the authors’ views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Slovenia

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